|Updated: 10/25/2011 9:58 am
||Published: 10/25/2011 9:51 am
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Little Rock's police chief on Monday offered a city-owned parking lot to protesters camped outside the Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock, saying the group had until Tuesday to move.
The parking lot is about 300 yards from where the Occupy Little Rock group has camped for four days on pavement at the Clinton center. Members of the group said they would meet Tuesday to discuss their options.
Thomas said violating the parks ordinance carries a fine of up to $1,000.
"We have procured this location as a reasonable alternative," Thomas said during a news conference at the city-owned parking lot adjacent to the downtown post office. He went from there to the Clinton center to urge the protesters to move.
Thomas said at the news conference the matter would be resolved Monday but after listening to protesters said they had until Tuesday to move.
The city equipped the alternative site with a large trash bin and two portable toilets. The site is just a parking lot, not a public park, so it's not encumbered with the anti-camping restrictions. Thomas said he'd gotten a permit himself for the group to use the alternative site.
Protester J.T. Scott of Conway said the city and police department deserve credit for proposing an alternative but said the site wasn't an attractive one.
"The political visibility of the Clinton Presidential Library is far better for our movement," Scott said.
He said he sensed the real purpose of moving the group was to silence it.
"Sweep us under the rug, out of sight, out of mind," Scott said.
The site proposed by the city is a short walk south of the River Market entertainment district but doesn't have the traffic and open space afforded by the Clinton site just to the northeast.
Local organizers say they're standing up against the power of corporations in politics. Scott said the movement intends to change the way the government is run.